The Jordan Desert contains several mysterious ruins, including the legendary remains of the ancient castles of the Umayyad Monarchy.
Qasr Al Mushatta is the largest of the Umayyad castles, although it gradually fell into ruins and much of it was used elsewhere as building material. No other desert castle was built with such megalomania and it was designed as the winter palace of Caliph Walid The Second.
Paved roads have now replaced the former caravan routes. Close to the southern Azraq Amman Road is the quadrate castle of Qasr El Kharaneh. This fortress like building is one of the most well preserved desert castles of the Umayyad and its massive external walls and corner towers give it an awesome appearance.
The small bathing castle of Qusair Amra is one of the most beautiful castles in Jordan.
Its bathing house uniquely highlights the abundant luxury enjoyed by the former monarchs of the desert. The castle features a number of magnificent and well known wall paintings that depict various bathing and hunting scenes. Today the happy-go-lucky nature of the Umayyad monarchy seems to be far removed from Islam. Indeed, some of the scenes are of a sensual nature.
The castles of the Umayyad desert: history, atmosphere and romance!
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.